News > Gmail


Pasting images into messages just got easier

Category: Gmail | Jun 13, 2011

Posted by Daniel Cheng, Software Engineer

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and people certainly like to spice up their emails with images. A while back, Gmail started making this easier by letting you drop images from your desktop right into the compose window.

Now, when you’re running the latest version of Google Chrome, you can paste images right from your clipboard too. So if you copy an image from the web or another email, you can paste it right into your message. This is especially handy for passing around screenshots — you don’t have to save the files any more (I’ve been using Command-Control-Shift-4 on my Mac to save screenshots directly to the clipboard). While this currently only works in Chrome, we hope to enable it on other browsers soon.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/C9oruuMHZo8/pasting-images-into-messages-just-got.html

Faces of Gmail: Hareesh Nagarajan

Category: Gmail | Jun 7, 2011

Posted by Kathleen Chen, Consumer Operations

In this edition of “Faces of Gmail,” we’ll introduce you to Hareesh Nagarajan who balances managing datacenters with improving his golf game.

What’s your role on the Gmail team?
I am the tech lead for part of Gmail’s backend infrastructure. Gmail has lots of datacenters to support hundreds of millions of users. We try to balance out these users in a way that will ensure that a good experience and run our datacenters at maximum efficiency. You could say that we like having our cake and eating it too: the software we’ve written tries to come up with a fine balance between keeping both our users and our datacenters happy.

What did you do before joining Google?
Google is my first full-time gig. Before Google, I went to graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago where I lived above a piano bar. Before Chicago, I went to college in Bangalore. I wrote a bunch of software that no one uses (including me!). I did give my creations memorable names though: I built a text editor called “Save Trees,” an instant chat messenger called ionicChat (after the ionic bond in chemistry), and an assembler called “miASMa.” I was also active in the local quizzing circuit. I think I raked up about 40,000 INR in prize money in those four years.

What do you do when you’re not working on Gmail?
I’ve been playing golf for nearly two years now. I’m not very good, but I’ve been seeing improvements in my game. Since I like data and statistics, I try and collect everything that I can when I’m playing. The data I’ve collected so far says that I’ve pared or bogey one in three holes in 2010, but so far in 2011 I’ve improved to one in two holes. Hopefully there are more big improvements to come. Golf is a hard game: errors propagate. I’ve tried to analyze why tennis has fewer unique winners than golf on my blog. Apart from golf and occasional blogging, I also like writing software (in a few hours) that empowers people. For example, I built pravaas.org to provide high quality mentorship and advice to any student for free, and I built tweetandbeat.com to track real time updates for the keyword cancer. You can follow my updates and my photos from my phone on twitter.com/hnag.

How do you get your workday started?
I come in at about 10:00 in the morning. I check system dashboards to make sure that Gmail users are happy, that our datacenters are running cool, and that I haven’t broken anything from the previous day. I usually do all this while eating cereal. I buy cereal boxes (Kashi Autumn Wheat) by the dozen from Amazon. Folks who enter my cubicle at the start of my cereal cycle are shocked to find 12 boxes of cereal right next to my desk and ask, “Are you going to eat all that cereal?” to which I say, “Well yes, would you like some?”.

Photos by Cody Bratt, Google Talk team


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/JqhGLI5dsNY/faces-of-gmail-hareesh-nagarajan.html

Introducing appointment slots in Google Calendar

Category: Gmail | Jun 6, 2011

Posted by Irene Chung, Software Engineer

Google Calendar has become indispensable for organizing my own time and sharing my schedule with friends and coworkers. But what about letting others know about my preferred availability? Likewise, when I look at my hairdresser’s online calendar, I wonder why I can’t just book the open slot instead of remembering to call during regular business hours. Now, with appointment slots in Google Calendar, any individual or business can manage appointment availability online 24/7.

Creating appointment slots

To get started, set up blocks of time you’d like to offer as appointment slots. Simply click anywhere on your calendar and then on “Appointment slots.” From there, create a single block of time or automatically split a larger block of time into smaller appointment slots.


Every Google Calendar has its own personal appointments sign up page; you can embed it on your website or give the URL directly to friends and clients. You can find the URL for your appointment page at the top of the set-up page, which you can access via the Edit details link.


Signing up for an appointment slot

When someone visits your sign up page, their calendar is overlaid for convenience and they can sign up directly for any available appointment slot. When they sign up, Google Calendar conveniently creates a new shared event on both of your calendars.


At Google, many people are already using appointment slots to manage their office hours or even schedule appointments with on-site fitness instructors. We’re starting to roll it out widely today, and appointment slots should be available for everyone within the next few days. I’m pretty excited to tell my hairdresser about it, and I can’t wait to see all of you start to use it too.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/-504fkAGXko/introducing-appointment-slots-in-google.html

Change Google Calendar’s default meeting length and more print options

Category: Gmail | Jun 2, 2011

Posted by Grace Kwak, Product Manager

Today we’re adding two features that make it easier to customize Google Calendar. First, you can now change your default event length from the standard 30 minute slot. If you frequently create 15 minute meetings, for example, you can now make 15 minutes the default length for all your events. This way, you don’t need to click into the event page to change the duration every time.

You can change the default length of your events from the Calendar settings page. Next to the “Default meeting length” option, choose the length you’d like from the drop-down menu on the right. From there, you can also enable “Speedy meetings,” which automatically shortens events that are 30 minutes or longer to allow you to prep for your next meeting or get to your next appointment if you have a packed schedule.

Second, for those of you who still prefer paper and print your calendar, you can now select a specific date range in the print dialog box. Google Calendar will automatically format your printout for the date range you choose.

We hope you find these new customization options useful. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@googlecalendar) or in the Google Calendar Help Forum.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/grmE1sheyEg/change-google-calendars-default-meeting.html

Change Google Calendar’s default meeting length and more print options

Category: Gmail | Jun 2, 2011

Posted by Grace Kwak, Product Manager

Today we’re adding two features that make it easier to customize Google Calendar. First, you can now change your default event length from the standard 30 minute slot. If you frequently create 15 minute meetings, for example, you can now make 15 minutes the default length for all your events. This way, you don’t need to click into the event page to change the duration every time.

You can change the default length of your events from the Calendar settings page. Next to the “Default meeting length” option, choose the length you’d like from the drop-down menu on the right. From there, you can also enable “Speedy meetings,” which automatically shortens events that are 30 minutes or longer to allow you to prep for your next meeting or get to your next appointment if you have a packed schedule.

Second, for those of you who still prefer paper and print your calendar, you can now select a specific date range in the print dialog box. Google Calendar will automatically format your printout for the date range you choose.

We hope you find these new customization options useful. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@googlecalendar) or in the Google Calendar Help Forum.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/grmE1sheyEg/change-google-calendars-default-meeting.html

Our plans to support modern browsers across Google Apps

Category: Gmail | Jun 1, 2011

Posted by Venkat Panchapakesan, Vice President of Engineering

(Cross-posted on the Google Enterprise Blog and the Google Docs Blog.)

For web applications to spring even farther ahead of traditional software, our teams need to make use of new capabilities available in modern browsers. For example, desktop notifications for Gmail and drag-and-drop file upload in Google Docs require advanced browsers that support HTML5. Older browsers just don’t have the chops to provide you with the same high-quality experience.

For this reason, soon Google Apps will only support modern browsers. Beginning August 1st, we’ll support the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version is released, we’ll begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.

As of August 1st, we will discontinue support for the following browsers and their predecessors: Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7, and Safari 3. In these older browsers you may have trouble using certain features in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs and Google Sites, and eventually these apps may stop working entirely.

So if it’s been a a while since your last update, we encourage you to get the latest version of your favorite browser. There are many to choose from:

As the world moves more to the web, these new browsers are more than just a modern convenience, they are a necessity for what the future holds.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/yh42ce4EflA/our-plans-to-support-modern-browsers.html

Our plans to support modern browsers across Google Apps

Category: Gmail | Jun 1, 2011

Posted by Venkat Panchapakesan, Vice President of Engineering

(Cross-posted on the Google Enterprise Blog and the Google Docs Blog.)

For web applications to spring even farther ahead of traditional software, our teams need to make use of new capabilities available in modern browsers. For example, desktop notifications for Gmail and drag-and-drop file upload in Google Docs require advanced browsers that support HTML5. Older browsers just don’t have the chops to provide you with the same high-quality experience.

For this reason, soon Google Apps will only support modern browsers. Beginning August 1st, we’ll support the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version is released, we’ll begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.

As of August 1st, we will discontinue support for the following browsers and their predecessors: Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7, and Safari 3. In these older browsers you may have trouble using certain features in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs and Google Sites, and eventually these apps may stop working entirely.

So if it’s been a a while since your last update, we encourage you to get the latest version of your favorite browser. There are many to choose from:

As the world moves more to the web, these new browsers are more than just a modern convenience, they are a necessity for what the future holds.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/yh42ce4EflA/our-plans-to-support-modern-browsers.html

3 Labs graduations, 1 retirement

Category: Gmail | May 31, 2011

Posted by Maciek Nowakowski, Associate Product Manager

Today we’re excited to graduate three more features from the experimental testing ground of Gmail Labs. Superstars, Nested Labels, and Advanced IMAP Controls are now first-class citizens in the Gmail world, thanks largely to your feedback. We’re also retiring the Google Search box lab which was redundant with the “Search the Web” button that’s already in Gmail.

Superstars
Superstars, one of the most popular Labs features, provides different types of stars in addition to Gmail’s basic one. You can assign a certain star to special conversations and use another as a visual reminder that you need to follow-up on a message later. You can now choose your own set of stars from Settings:


Once you’ve done that, the stars will rotate with each consecutive click on the star icon.


Nested Labels
Labels are a great way of organizing your email; nested labels give you the ability to organize labels hierarchically. Starting today, nested labels are enabled for everyone along with a couple of small improvements such as a sticky collapse/expand state and better editing options.


To start using them, you can either create a new sub-label from the dropdown menu on the left hand side or just move an existing label under another one using the edit option:


Advanced IMAP Controls
This Labs feature provided a very useful set of advanced controls for those of you who access Gmail through IMAP clients (e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird, or your iPhone’s native mail app). Now it’s easier to take advantage of features like syncing only selected labels or limiting the folder size limit to improve your IMAP experience.


True to the original spirit of Gmail Labs, we’ll continue to add new features, graduate some, and retire others, so keep trying them out and sending us your feedback.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/fiwTD-NYk_Y/3-labs-graduations-1-retirement.html

Introducing the people widget

Category: Gmail | May 26, 2011

Posted by Zohair Hyder, Software Engineer

(Cross-posted on the Google Enterprise Blog)

Email is just as much about the people you communicate with as it is what you communicate about. We think it can be helpful to view relevant information in context, which is why over the next two weeks we’re rolling out a new people widget located on the right hand side of your messages. The people widget surfaces content from friends, family and colleagues that is already available to you but may be hard to find and makes it easier to connect with them.


Next to every email message you can now see contextual information about the people in that conversation including recent emails you received from them, relevant Buzz posts, shared documents and calendar events. You also have quick access to a variety of ways to communicate with individuals, start a group chat or schedule a meeting with groups of people.


We hope the people widget will improve your Gmail experience and we’re eager for you to try it out.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/wrJzxgnJo2k/introducing-people-widget.html

Changes and improvements to AIM interoperability

Category: Gmail | May 19, 2011

Posted by Matthew Leske, Product Manager

From the beginning, we designed Google Talk using open standards so that you could connect to your friends and family using any chat product, making communication as easy as possible. A few years ago, we announced our partnership with AOL which made it possible for people to chat with AIM users right from inside Gmail. Today, we’re happy to report that AOL has now made it possible to chat with AOL contacts across a variety of Google services: not just Gmail, but also iGoogle, Orkut, and Google Talk on Android phones.


If you chat with AIM buddies in Gmail, you’ll notice a few changes. First, you’ll no longer need an AIM account to connect to your friends using AIM. Instead you’ll be able to add your AIM buddies just like you add Gmail contacts to your chat list: using their AOL screennames (for example, username@aol.com). AIM users will now also be able to add Google contacts to their AIM chat clients.


Second, you’ll no longer be able to sign into your AIM account from within Gmail chat since you can now add AIM contacts directly. And lastly, if you previously had a lot of AIM contacts and don’t want to re-add them to your chat list one by one, AOL has created a tool to import your AIM buddies into your Gmail account. See their blog post for more info.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/SK0ZNG233p0/changes-and-improvements-to-aim.html